Belfast University
Belfast University

End Of Marking Boycott Dispute For This Russell Group University

How long until other universities follow suit?

This year has truly been a stressful one for university students. With days of strikes and the marking boycott, students are understandably worried about their degrees.

Many students across the UK may not receive their grades this summer after the marking boycott affects exams and assessments. The marking boycott comes after a dispute over pay and working conditions, actioned by the members of the University and College Union (UCU) at 145 UK institutions.

The boycott began on the 20th April and will continue until pay and working conditions are improved. The union members are refusing to mark uni exams and assessments until improvements are made.

However, one Russell Group university has ended the marking boycott dispute, becoming the first in the UK to end it.

End of the boycott

Queen’s University Belfast and the local UCU have decided to end the marking boycott, with marking to be completed by the 7th August to ensure students can have finalised results by the end of the summer.

Sadly, it doesn’t look like that will be the case for many students across the country. Up to 2,000 students at Edinburgh University will be graduating without marks, as students say they’ve been ‘forgotten’ by the university. At Queen’s, earlier in the month it was reported that over 750 students won’t be getting their degrees confirmed this summer – with their final results and classification unknown.

Cambridge University students will not be able to graduate without all their papers being marked. And at Glasgow, students held protests over being given certificates without a degree classification. A bit of a sticky situation for students TBH.

Queen’s University Belfast reached the decision to end the boycott with its UCU after several weeks of intensive work. Within the agreement, a cost of living supplement equivalent to two per cent of pay will take affect from 1st September this year. There are also promises to address issues regarding gender, race, and disability pay gaps.

Beth Elder, the incoming President of the Queen’s Students Union, has said ‘this has been an incredibly stressful and difficult time for students’. She hopes that the university and staff try and ensure there are no more delays regarding marking student’s work.

Hopefully more universities will follow Queen’s University’s footsteps and end the boycott.